Let Me Look at You begins with actor Mark Pinkosh narrating what he sees as he walks through London’s Soho. He describes a young man who exudes style leaning against a motorbike, and he explains how he became mesmerised by him. The motorcyclist is a significant figure in the show’s narrative, certainly, but it’s Pinkosh’s story we find ourselves desperate to know more about. Thankfully, he delivers. Over the hour, Pinkosh discusses – in a well-paced, incredibly engaging manner – his own experience as a gay man. He talks about the discrimination he has faced, as well as the LGBT activism that has been so vital to the community over the years.
Standing centre stage, Pinkosh reminds us that this year is the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act – which means that, up until fairly recently, “it was illegal to act on being gay”. With total command over his room, Pinkosh enters informative mode: he touches upon the debate and passing of various pieces of legislation, for instance, and references some lesser-known events within LGBT history.
There are personal anecdotes aplenty, too. Pinkosh’s language becomes gorgeously poetic as he discusses figuring out his identity and searching for his, “I know who I am” moment. The stream-of-consciousness style he adopts flows beautifully, and adds more charming personality to the performance. His stories are emotional and powerfully honest, and are often tinged with warm humour. Unwavering spirit and charisma abound, Pinkosh enthrals us with the narrative.
Written by Godfrey Hamilton, Let Me Look at You is an exercise in touching, essential scriptwriting. The stories told throughout the show are ones of love, of heartache, of triumph, and they all lead the show to a poignant conclusion. This is a captivating example of insightful and vastly important storytelling.
Words: Morgan Laing
Let Me Look at You, Pleasance Courtyard, Aug 23-28, 11.15am